President Paul Biya’s instructions relating to the payment of internal debts and other financial commitments of the State is a welcomed relief.
The Head of State, President Paul Biya in his 2018 New Year message to the nation on December 31, 2017 talking about measures to boost economic growth in Cameroon declared, “Specially, attention will be paid to the situation of SMEs especially in terms of settling the debt owed them and improving their access to bank loans.”
The declaration raised anxiety and much expectations in government contractors, service providers, executors of infrastructure projects and the entire population. This is because the translation of the declaration into concrete action means the injection of more money into the economy, more jobs, accelerated and sustained development with the ultimate goal being the improvement in living conditions.
President Biya’s instructions contained in the Minister of Finance press release of April 4, 2018 with regard to payment of internal debts and other financial commitments of the State came within a context of high expectations and hopes.
The disbursement of more than FCFA 32 billion starting from Wednesday, April 4, 2018 to natural persons, State service providers, subventions, contributions and counterpart funds counting for outstanding payments of 2016 and previous financial years is a big sigh of relief.
They were part of the people President Paul Biya in his 2018 New Year message congratulated. Their noble commitment to work despite the difficult context caused by the adverse global economic situation led to the resilience of Cameroon’s economy.
Government’s decision to settle the internal debts has also come within the context of the economic and financial programme Cameroon concluded with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June 2017. The programme is backed by an Extended Credit Facility. President Biya said in December 2017 that, “This programme is expected to have a positive impact in our growth from 2018.”
There are also high hopes for service providers and contractors of the State for the 2017 financial year. The President in his instructions said payment programme has been put in place to gradually regularise their payment of the bills owed them.
The fact that counterpart funds are included in the money to be paid is an indication that infrastructure and other giant projects jointly sponsored by government and its international partners will greatly witness a leap forward in execution rate. Some of these projected have been stagnating as government had difficulties to pay its own quota.